Winners Walk of Hope breaks all records in raising frunds for ovarian cancer!

Tuesday, July 27 2010

The National Ovarian Cancer Association's (NOCA's) mandate to overcome ovarian cancer took a giant step forward this past weekend with the 12-city Winners Walk of Hope breaking all fundraising and participation records for any pan-Canadian event ever held in support of this cause. The September 10 walk has raised $900,000 to date with pledges still coming in.

"We are overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of support from our sponsors; our volunteer walk committees across the country; by ovarian cancer survivors, their families and friends; and the news media," says Elisabeth Ross, Executive Director of NOCA.

"Having Winners on board as our national title sponsor made all the difference in achieving this amazing success. In addition to the much-needed funds for the cause, the Winners Walk of Hope is a huge boost for ovarian cancer awareness. We will put the money to good use furthering research, awareness, and supporting women living with the disease."

Winners sponsored a national advertising campaign, in-store and employee campaigns. In addition to Winners' participation, HomeSense, KPMG and Ortho Biotech supported the walk as national category sponsors.

"In partnering with NOCA we, at Winner Merchants International, learned that education and awareness are the best tools to prevent and detect ovarian cancer, and recognized that -with over 200 Winners and HomeSense stores across the country-WMI, as a company, had an incredible opportunity to help Turn UP the Volume on this disease and bring the message to our customers and associates across Canada," says Shannon Johnson, Manager of Public Relations, Winners Merchants Intl. "We were honoured to share our name with the Walk in 2006 and thrilled to have helped NOCA reach this record number."

The 2006 Winners Walk of Hope was held coast-to-coast in Comox Valley (BC), Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and St. John's. Launched five years ago as a one-city event in Toronto, the walk was the idea of Peggy Truscott, a NOCA volunteer and a woman with ovarian cancer. "We lost Peggy to ovarian cancer before the second walk but the event will always be her legacy. We can only imagine her delight at what an incredible journey this event has taken," adds Elisabeth.

Raising awareness and furthering ovarian cancer research is particularly important because unlike the mammogram for breast cancer and the Pap test for cervical cancer, there is no screening test for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Women and health professionals must rely on signs and symptoms to alert them to the possible presence of the disease (visit www.ovariancanada.org for details). This year alone, 2,300 Canadian women will be diagnosed and 1,600 will die from ovarian cancer.

Last week as Ovarian Cancer Month began, NOCA released some startling findings from a 2006 update of last year's Decima Research public awareness poll on ovarian cancer. The study found that almost half of Canadian women (48%) incorrectly believe there is a screening test for ovarian cancer. Equally disturbing is that despite believing there is a screening test, only 21% of the misinformed women say that they had been tested (see the above web site for full text of the news release). The good news is that only 7% of women polled claim to have never heard of ovarian cancer-a significant improvement over the 12% reported in the 2005 survey.

"Our work is far from over," says Elisabeth. "The Winners Walk of Hope will enable NOCA to move ahead more rapidly with its mandate to overcome ovarian cancer. As a radio host in Winnipeg said: 'I love Winners. Now I love them even more.'"

Watch E-News and www.winnerswalkofhope.ca / www.marchewinners.ca for final tallies on proceeds and participation at the Winners Walk of Hope.

Funding for the production of NOCA E-News and the "Seeds of Hope" Newsletter has generously been provided by the participants in the 2006 Ladies Annual Golf Event held in Toronto.

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